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“Wonderful restaurant” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Malabar Cafe

Malabar Cafe
514 Front St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060-4506
831-458-3023
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Ranked #27 of 328 Restaurants in Santa Cruz
Cuisines: Asian
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Los Angeles, California
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Wonderful restaurant”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

The food and flavors are amazing. Their specialty drinks were great too. (non-alcoholic)
The service was slow, but who is rushing. I was on vacation and was enjoying a wonderful meal. The portions are large enough to share. This way you can try many dishes and taste
the different flavors.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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58 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    34
    15
    6
    1
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Remarkable flavors!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2012 via mobile

From appies to mains, fascinating, creative flavors and presentation. We knew to expect slow, shall we say nonchalant, service and that is what we got. As so many others have said. But by no means should you let that stop you. The food is just too interesting and delicious.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Malabar Bummer”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

Food is good, at least I've heard, but I had a very bad experience with the staff and refused to go back. I went in to order takeout and was completely ignored by everyone who worked there. I have no idea why. It was weird. I was left standing in the middle of the restaurant for several minutes while the staff repeatedly looked at me and walked away without asking if I'd like a seat or like to place an order. It was very awkward. I was dressed nicely, so I know they couldn't have mistaken me for a transient. This was a while back, and hopefully there are better people working there now.

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Abingdon, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
118 reviews 118 reviews
75 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 39 cities Reviews in 39 cities
51 helpful votes 51 helpful votes
“Weird place and staff, but generally good food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We gave this place a try. No alcohol. Sri Lankan. The woman who initially set us up at the table was grouchy and offended when we showed her a dirty glass. When we ordered we got the owner? sometimes cook? He said he was changing the menu and then proceeded to change most of our selections - fine with us. We placed an order for crab cakes (very good) and some of the bread (OK) along with an eggplant dish (good) and the Tahu Java - very good. We ordered two more entrees which never came. When we inquired the original guy came back over and said 'didn"t anyone tell you we ran out of these?" Very funny....sort of . We got the jalapeno peppers which were bland and called it a night.
Enjoyable with the right attitude. But I can see that some would be very frustrated.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Cruz, California, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Vast assortment of luscious vegetarian dishes”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012

It is such a pleasure to dine here. Some of the offerings are unusual and somewhat exotic. It's such a fun dining adventure and the meal is always satisfying. I like the fact that I could never replicate the entire meal at home, and that makes it worth heading out for.

Visited May 2012
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